All A Twitter
When James Karl Buck was arrested by Egyptian police during a demonstration, he only had to use one word to to get his message out to his supporters. Armed with his cell phone, according to the MercuryNews.com., he used Twitter and typed the word “Arrested”. Within a day, he was free—thanks to a wide circle of friends in the US and some anti-government bloggers in Egypt. (For more information on the story, go HERE.
Twitter is a fairly new, ever-growing microblogging service. Messages are short, consisting of 140 characters at most. A person can choose to “follow” other “Twitterers”, thus building networks. Updated missives can even be accessed and sent via cell phone. Through the social networking service, a person can update family and friends, arrange a quick happy hour, or report an event as it unfolds. Followers also have an opportunity to respond to these miniposts, sparking lively conversations or even, at times, debates.
As time passes, Twitterers are finding the service to have more than just an entertainment value. Many people use the service to raise funds/awareness for social causes. Politicians are also turning to Twitter as part of their campaign strategy. Even corporations are beginning to jump on the bandwagon — scrambling to find ways to market their products.
Bloggers have found Twitter to be a great way to maintain contact with other bloggers as well as promote new posts or contests. And when 55 blogging moms attended a Johnson & Johnson “camp” last month, many “twittered” during the seminars so readers could still be part of the experience. Some Twitterers even invited followers to submit questions or voice concerns during these sessions, thus providing (allbeit indirect) access to the J&J marketing powers.
But getting back to Buck… Since the UC Berkeley graduate journalism student had a large network, his friends and supporters were quickly contacted. From there, his network was able to contact the press and the American Embassy while UC Berkeley hired an Egyptian lawyer.
This is one of the most ingenious ways we’ve seen Twitter used.
* This post was written and submitted by Lisa.
* Follow the St. Louis Bloggers Guild on Twitter.